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Columbia Missourian

Albert Franklin Graham, April 29, 1920 — Sept. 20, 2013

September 20, 2013 | 5:28 p.m. CDT

Albert Franklin Graham, 93 passed away Friday, September 20, 2013 at The Neighborhoods.

A memorial service will be held at 4 pm Monday, September 23, 2013, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia. Visitation will be from 2 to 4 pm, Monday, at the church.

Frank was born April 29, 1920, to George B. and Wilma Bryant Graham on a farm near Fair Grove, MO.

Frank was a graduate of the University of Missouri with a BS and Master’s degree in Extension Education. Known for his love of baseball, he was the pitcher for MU on two Big Six Championship teams, 1941 and 1942, and gave up a professional baseball career to continue his education. He was an alumni of the Farm House Fraternity.

He served as an infantry officer in World War II and was an instructor for paratrooper training.

He was a member of Epsilon Sigma Phi National Honor Society and former President of the National Honor Society of Agriculture, Gamma Sigma Delta.

Frank enjoyed officiating high school and college basketball.

Frank spent 33 years in MU Extension. The last 17 as Director of the Missouri 4-H Youth Development Program and retired from Extension in 1975. A former member and chairman of the National Extension Committee on Policy for 4-H Youth Programs. He served on the Board of Trustees of the National 4-H Foundation for eight years. A founding member of the Missouri 4-H Foundation on retirement he was named an Honorary Life Member. Frank served on the Boone County 4-H Foundation Board and the Boone County Extension Council. In 2004, Frank received 4-H’s highest honor, induction into the National 4-H Hall of Fame. In 2007, he was awarded the Nelson Trickey 4-H Bridge Builder Award and inducted into the Missouri 4-H Hall of Fame in 2011. Frank truly was known as “Mr. 4-H”.

For a number of years, he owned and operated livestock farms and Melody Acres Quarter Horse Ranch in Boone County. Frank and his son, Jerry, owned and operated the 4 Square Livestock Auction near Marshall Junction.

He served as President of Boone County Historical Society and is a Life Member. He was active in Midway Locust Grove United Methodist Church for 60 years and several MU, local, statewide and national organizations.

Frank accepted the challenge to seek the position of Presiding Commissioner of Boone County in January 1986. While serving his term through 1991, he approved the first lease that Boone Hospital signed for BJC Health Center, as well as, led the completion of the new jail and remodeling of the courthouse.

Survivors include: his wife, Olive of the home; a daughter, Judy Layher of Branson, MO; step-children, Chad Briggs, Joey O’Neill and Michael Briggs; grandchildren, Sabrina Graham, Jerry Graham Jr., Shelley Quinney, Michelle Testman, Kevin Patrick, Kyle Patrick, Rob Patrick, Lori Graham, Melody Plant, Leo Graham, Justin Graham, Travis Graham and Destiny Graham; step-grandchildren, Meghan O’Neill, Corie O’Neill and their father, Tom O’Neill; 25 great-grandchildren; seven great-great grandchildren and a brother, George Graham of Nevada, MO.

Frank was preceded in death by his first wife, Emma Jean Graham; a son, Jerry Graham and sister, Bernice Bryant.

Memorials may be given to: Missouri 4-H Foundation, Frank Graham Leadership Fund, 1110 S. College Avenue, Columbia, MO 65211 or Central Missouri Honor Flight, 1400 Forum Blvd, Ste. 38, Box 334, Columbia, MO 65203

Online condolences may be left for the family at